RJAH equipment amnesty image

Shropshire’s specialist orthopaedic hospital has declared an ‘equipment amnesty’ and is urging former patients to return therapy equipment that is no longer required as it faces a shortage.

Therapy staff at The Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital (RJAH) are trying to replenish supplies and save the NHS some money. Getting equipment back from patients who longer no need it ensures that new patients can get the crucial aids they need.

Any equipment that is returned to the hospital is cleaned up and reconditioned so it can be used again by future patients. This includes walking aids, toilet equipment and commodes.

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Philip Hulse, Therapies Service Manager at The RJAH, said: “Every week we hand out on average 150 – 200 pairs of crutches and we have been successful in patients returning these. I thank everyone who has helped us with returning their crutches, and please continue to do so.

“This request is slightly different – we are asking patients who live outside of Shropshire and were given equipment such as perching stools; toilet aids such as free-standing frames, raised toilet seats with handles and commodes; and walking frames, more commonly known as Zimmer frames, that were issued in the past two years to return them to RJAH.”

Patients who have been issued equipment from The RJAH and reside outside of Shropshire are being asked to return it to the hospital directly. Due to restrictions still in place, all equipment should be left at the outside drop off area and not brought inside the building, the hospital says.

Patients who live in Shropshire and have equipment to return should contact the Community Equipment Store on 01952 603838 to arrange collection.

Sara Ellis-Anderson, Interim Chief Nurse at The RJAH, added: “We know people don’t set out to keep the equipment that has been given to them and returning equipment is the last thing on anyone’s minds when they’re properly back on their feet again. However, we do really need them.

“We are always looking at ways of working more efficiently so we really must stress the importance of returning any piece of hospital equipment that can be used again to the benefit of other patients.

“If you have any of the items – toilet aids, commodes or walking frames – we have issued at home lurking in the garage or in the back of the cupboard, please return them. We would be very grateful, and you can help save your local hospital money.”

Recently, Devon County Council and NHS Devon Clinical Commissioning Group also declared an equipment amnesty and asked local residents to return items that they no longer need. They attributed supply chain pressures to the shortage of essential independent living equipment and acted early to mitigate the risk of running out of stock.

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